A local politician has renewed calls on the UK government to boost family incomes – after a new report revealed austerity cuts and increasing living costs have left many families struggling.
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said a report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), reveals the average income of low income families is now falling short by a third of what is needed to achieve a decent minimum living standard – as a result of Tory cuts to tax credits, stagnant wages, and rising costs.
The JRF concludes a lone parent working full time on the minimum wage would now be £3,640 a year (20%) short of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) – compared to £520 a year (3.5%) short a decade ago in 2008. A couple, both working full time on the minimum wage, with two children, would be £2,600 a year (11%) short of the MIS.
The report reveals support received from benefits for working age adults has gone down by 12% since 2008 because of the Tories’ punitive austerity agenda.
Mr Newlands claims that the SNP has consistently called for the UK government to end its austerity cuts, and boost family incomes by introducing a real National Living Wage, reversing the cuts to tax credits, and ending the benefits freeze. He said: “Millions of families across the UK are suffering from a Tory pay cut – as rising prices, stagnant wages, and cuts to social security have left many households struggling to get by.
“The UK government must end its damaging austerity cuts, which have driven families into poverty and crisis, and instead take action to boost incomes by introducing a real Living Wage, reversing the cuts to tax credits, and ending the benefits freeze.
“The Tories and Labour must also ditch their reckless plans for a hard Brexit, which would destroy jobs and squeeze people’s incomes and living standards even further. Short of staying in the EU, the best way to protect jobs and prosperity is to remain in the single market and customs union.
“While the SNP government is investing millions in boosting support for families, mitigating Tory austerity cuts, and promoting a real Living Wage, the UK government is wedded to austerity and seems determined to push families into destitution.”